International Advisory Board

On this page:  Joe Clark | Charles Bassett | Wanda Bedard | Lloyd Bernhardt | Robert Blackburn
Patricia Erb Delfin | Phil Fontaine | Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi | Louise Fréchette | Joanne Freeze | Michael Hawes George Haynal | Rita S. Karakas | Wilton Littlechild | Robin McLayDavid Morley | Khalil Shariff Gordon Shirley | Stephen Wallace | Gina Wilson

ISID’s International Advisory Board is composed of distinguished individuals whose experience, expertise, and commitment to ISID’s mission mean they are an invaluable source of counsel and guidance. In particular, the Board provides ISID with irreplaceable advice relating to issues of significant impact on the accomplishment of the ISID’s mission, as well as in the development and review of the ISID’s long-term planning and special initiatives.

The Right Honourable Joe Clark

P.C., C.C., A.O.E., M.A., L.L.D.

The Right Honourable Joe Clark served in the House of Commons of Canada for 25 years, retiring in June 2004. He was Prime Minister of Canada in 1979-80, Secretary of State for External Affairs (Foreign Minister) from 1984-1991, Minister of Constitutional Affairs from 1991-1993, and Acting Minister of both National Defence and Justice. He served twice as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and as National Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Mr. Clark is vice-chairman of the Global Leadership Foundation, a not-for-profit organization which helps leaders of developing countries carry out reform.  He is a member of the board of Canadian and international companies, and not-for-profit organizations and, in 2013, published “How We Lead: Canada in a Century of Change. He was the first Professor of Practice for Private-Public Sector Partnerships in the Centre for Developing-Area Studies at McGill University in Montreal and serves on the advisory board of the Inistitute for the Study of International Development

Charles Bassett

Charles Bassett was formerly Canadian Executive Director of the Inter-American Development Bank. As a member of the Executive Board, Mr Bassett was involved in overseeing the policy and programming of the Bank. He also represented a broad spectrum of Canada’s interests: coordinating foreign policy issues, overseeing international development objectives, and providing support and information to the Canadian private sector.

Prior to his appointment to IDB in 2003, Mr. Bassett had an illustrious 27 year career at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) where he occupied many strategic positions including that of Senior Vice-President. Among his other responsibilities, Mr Bassett was President, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.  He was also Canadian High Commissioner to Botswana and Zimbabwe and Ambassador to Angola and Mozambique from 1989 to 1993

Wanda Bedard

Wanda Bedard is the founder and owner, since 1991, of a business based in Montreal in the sheet metal manufacturing sector. She holds an MBA from HEC Montréal as well as a B. Com. from McGill University.  In the early 2000’s, after reading the first reports of the situation of Afghan women living under Taliban rule, Wanda spent over a year researching and investigating the issue, coming to the conclusion that ensuring that every girl has access to a quality basic education is the ultimate key to women’s empowerment in the world.  After several years as a deeply engaged volunteer with UNICEF Canada, Wanda and eight other women decided to establish the 60 million girls Foundation in 2006 to focus on supporting girls’ education. The foundation has since invested $1.7 million in 16 projects in 13 countries. 

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A completely volunteer-run organization, 60 million girls has grown to 40 members on the executive and, in 2010, a chapter in BC was also added. With administration costs of less than 1% of donation revenues and with a core team researching, analyzing and evaluating organizational partners and proposed projects, 60 million girls ensures that it is investing in the most innovative, sustainable and community sensitive programs possible. Past partners have included the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Free the Children, WUSC, Cause Canada and Save the Children, to name a few.  Most significantly, in the past year, through the foundation’s partner WUSC, a $200,000 pilot project was leveraged to obtain a $20 million investment by the UK government in support of girls’ education in refugee camps in Kenya.  60 million girls’ unique organizational model and grassroots approach to innovation and sustainability in education have enabled the foundation to become a strong voice in supporting girls’ education programming.


Lloyd Bernhardt

Lloyd Bernhardt’s career spans the breadth of the digital and the tangible, transitioning from software developer to coffee roaster. In 1988, Bernhardt one of British Columbia’s first Apple software development companies. As CEO at the age of 22, he took the company public on the VSE. For his achievements, he received numerous awards and recognitions including a coveted spot in Business in Vancouver’s “Top 40 under 40.” But in 1999 Bernhardt would take a trip that would alter his tech career.

After he and his wife journeyed to Guatemala to adopt their daughter, a passion for the culture of the country and a desire to better the lives of coffee farmers was ignited. The couple returned to Vancouver and in 2003 launched Ethical Bean Coffee. Ethical Bean is one of Canada's premier coffee roasters, roasting only certified Fairtrade organic coffee. Ethical Bean supplies coffee to grocery and food service in Canada, the USA and Asia.

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Bernhardt has built the Ethical Bean brand from a local, to a national, to an international success on the belief that social and environmental responsibility is also good business. The company runs out of a 10,000 square foot roastery built to LEED Gold Standards, purchases green energy, reduces and offsets carbon emissions, manages waste, and makes an enormous impact in both their local and global communities through donations, sponsorships and philanthropy. Recently Ethical Bean received a nod from the queen of daytime TV when it was featured in the 2010 Holiday Edition of Oprah’s Favorite Things. Combining his passion for technology with his commitment to creating dialogue between consumers and producers, Bernhardt developed an iPhone app that tracks the coffee’s journey from crop to cup. Each individual bag of coffee is marked with a unique QR code that, once scanned, provides an astonishing level of detail: from video interviews with farmers, a discussion with company Director of Coffee, to cupping and scoring notes and roast profiles, to a Google Map pinpointing the exact field your beans were grown in. Besides building the Ethical Bean Coffee brand, Bernhardt is on the board of Fairtrade Canada and an advisor to Compassion Fruit Society, a registered Canadian charity that is building a sustainable village for abandoned children, as well as a climate change institute, near Tecpan, Guatemala.

Robert Blackburn

Robert Blackburn was a senior executive with 47 years of experience in government and business, actively involved in foreign affairs, international institutions and negotiations, energy and resource policy and taxation, policy development and organization management. After a 30-year career in the Canadian federal public service, in 1997 he became Senior Vice President of SNC-Lavalin International, responsible for Government and International Development Institutions and in 2007 added responsibility for SNC-Lavalin International’s activities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In government his assignments included Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Priorities and Planning in the Privy Council Office, Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy at the Department of Industry Science and Technology, Deputy Administrator of the Canada Oil and Gas Lands Administration and Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy at the Department of Public Security.

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Blackburn began his public service career in the Canadian Foreign Service in 1966 and served in the Department of External Affairs in Ottawa and on assignments in Paris and twice at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. Blackburn was Founding Chair and member of the Board of the Canadian Council on Africa. He is also served on the Boards of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Defence Science Advisory Board (DSAB), the Energy Council of Canada and the Trade Facilitation Office Canada. He was also an alternate member of the Committee of Management of the Commonwealth Business Council since its creation in 1998. He currently serves on the Boards of the Ottawa Childrens’ Treatment Centre.  Mr. Blackburn holds B.A. and M.A. (Modern History) degrees from the University of Toronto.

Patricia Erb Delfin

Patricia Erb Delfin is the President and CEO at Save the Children Canada (SCC). She has served SCC for over two decades in key positions in Latin America. She has been Representative for Latin America, Interim Program Director, Regional Director Latin America, Regional Director South America, Andean Regional Director and Country Director Bolivia.  Ms Erb Delfin has been instrumental in the unification process of Save the Children offices in Latin America and Africa. This process formed one Save the Children country office from several country offices of various donor countries to manage all Save the Children projects.

She has represented Canadian interests in the Unified Save the Children programs in Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Nicaragua.  She has ensured good relationships with governments, funders, regional agencies, civil society, universities, research firms and the private sector whose support facilitates and strengthens project implementation and results.  She has acknowledged expertise in Children’s Rights. Her work in human rights has received international recognition from both governments and civil society alike.  She has served as a board member for 27 NGOs including as President of the Board of Directors of Defense for Children International Bolivia Chapter, the largest chapter in the world.

Phil Fontaine

Phil Fontaine has been instrumental in facilitating change and advancement for First Nations people from the time he was first elected to public office as Chief, at the young age of 28. He is a proud member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba and still plays an active role in the support of his community. Phil’s political vision began to take shape while he was a youth activist with the Canadian Indian Youth Council and a member of the Company of Young Canadians. He realized that self determination and the implementation of treaty and land rights were crucial to alleviating poverty for First Nations peoples and became an early advocate for these rights. When he became Chief in his own community, he put his thoughts into action by establishing the first Indian controlled education system in Canada; a locally controlled Child & Family Services agency; and the first on-reserve Alcohol and Addictions Treatment Centre in the country.

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In the early 1980’s he was elected to the position of Manitoba Regional Chief for the Assembly of First Nations. When his term expired in 1991, he was elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs where he served for three consecutive terms. He negotiated the first comprehensive self government plan for Manitoba First Nations and signed historic employment equity agreements which resulted in thousands of job opportunities for First Nations citizens. In June 2007, he negotiated a fair and just process for the settlement of Specific land claims, drawing on his experience as the Chief Commissioner of the Land Claims Commission, where he served for three years. In 1997 he stepped onto the national stage where he was elected to the highest elected position in First Nations politics, that of National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. He completed his final term in August 2009. The crowning achievement of his career to date, however, is leading the successful resolution and settlement of claims arising out of the 150 year Indian residential school tragedy.

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi

Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi is Special Evoy on Gender of the African Development Bank (AfDB) as from September 2013.  She previously served as Director of the Democratic Governance Group of the United Nations Development Program. Ms. Fraser-Moleketi oversees UNDP’s efforts to increase good governance practices in countries worldwide. Ms. Fraser-Moleketi was appointed to the group’s directorship in January of 2009, after 14 years in the South African government, including nine years as Minister of Public Service and Administration A former member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, Ms. Fraser-Moleketi was one of ten South Africa ministers who resigned their positions in September of 2008, after the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki.

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Ms. Fraser-Moleketi’s experience with global and local issues was forged in South Africa and outside her native country. She spent ten years in exile from South Africa beginning in 1980, when she left for Zimbabwe to join the African National Congress, which was the main opposition group during South Africa’s apartheid period. During her exile, Ms. Fraser-Moleketi worked in areas of Administration, Communications and Development, received military training, and became a member of the South African Communist Party. In 1990, with the unbanning of the African National Congress, Ms. Fraser-Moleketi returned to South Africa, where she established the first legal national office of the South African Communist Party. She was elected to, and served on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the African National Congress from 1998 until 2007.  Born in Cape Town to a father who was a teacher and a mother who was a factory worker, Ms. Fraser-Moleketi has a Masters in Administration from the University of Pretoria, and was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Louise Fréchette

Louise Fréchette was the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1998 to 2006. Prior to this, she pursued a career in the Public Service of Canada, serving notably as Ambassador to Argentina and Uruguay, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations , Associate Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister of National Defence

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Ms Fréchette currently chairs the Supervisory Board and Council of CARE International .She serves on the Board of Essilor International and chairs its Corporate Social Responsibility committee. She is also a member of the Board of the Global Leadership Foundation and of the Advisory Council to the Centre d’études internationales de l’Université de Montréal (CERIUM).

Joanne Freeze

Joanne C. Freeze is CEO and Co‐Founder of the Candente group of mining exploration companies developing copper, gold and silver projects in Peru and Mexico. She directs corporate strategies with respect to exploration, project evaluations, finance, government and institutional relations, social responsibility and resource allocation. Prior to starting Candente in 1997, Ms. Freeze worked in management and as an evaluations consultant in exploration for gold, silver, copper, coal and diamonds for both junior and major international mining companies in both North and South America since 1979.

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Ms. Freeze lived in Peru from 1994 to 1997 where she worked for both Canadian and Peruvian exploration companies. Freeze quickly learned that while exploration methods and practices were much the same worldwide, corporate social responsibilities started at early stages of exploration in Peru where many people live in remote areas with very little infrastructure and resources. At early stages, the Candente Group hires as many locals as possible and engages in sustainable development projects depending on the local community needs. As exploration projects develop Candente’s CSR teams outreach and project scopes increase. Freeze and her team recognize that CSR is complex and organic and is a continual learning process.

Ms. Freeze obtained a B.A. in Geography from the University of Western Ontario in 1978 and a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of British Columbia in 1981. She is a Fellow Member of the Geological Association of Canada and is registered with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia, Canada. Freeze was born in Canada and has had the opportunity to live in the United States of America as well as South America and Europe.

Michael Hawes

International Advisory Board Chair

Dr. Michael Hawes is a professor of political science, a tireless advocate of international education, and a proud alumnus of the Fulbright program. He assumed the leadership of Fulbright Canada in September of 2001 and has had the privilege of directing the program through some very exciting times. He is Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America, Executive Director of the Canada - U.S. Fulbright Program, and Executive Director of the Killam Fellowships Program. Under his direction Fulbright Canada has witnessed dramatic growth in its programs and in the number of students and scholars that the program supports.

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Since 1985, he has been a professor of international relations (currently on leave) in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University in Kingston. He also teaches at the Queen's School of Business in the area of cross-cultural negotiation. During the 1999-2000 academic year Michael was the J. William Fulbright Distinguished Professor of International and Area Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and the John A. Sproul Senior Research Fellow in Canadian Studies. In the Spring of 2010, he was Visiting Research Chair and Professor at the Center for Public Diplomacy in the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He has also held posts as Visiting Scholar at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico in Mexico City, Visiting Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of British Columbia, Visiting Research Fellow at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs in Stockholm, Visiting Professor of International Political Economy at Tsukuba University in Japan, and, on several occasions, Visiting Professor of International Political Economy at the International University of Japan in Niigata Japan. Michael was Acting Director of the Centre for International Relations at Queen’s University, Senior Fellow at PARMEC (the Program for the Study of Mexico, the United States, and Canada) at ITAM in Mexico City, Research Associate at Nichi-Bei Ken (the Center for Japan-U.S. Relations) at Kokusai Daigakku, and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Socio-Economic Planning at Tsukuba University in Japan.

Michael holds a Ph.D. in political science from York University in Toronto, an M.I.A. in international affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, and a B.A.H in economics and history from the University of Toronto. He has published widely on foreign policy, political culture, international economic relations, regional integration, and related subjects. He currently chairs the board of the Institute for Studies in International Development at McGill University, is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, and is a member of the ACSUS Advisory Board. He has also sat on a number of national advisory committees and on various ministerial advisory boards.

George Haynal

George Haynal is Professor of Corporate and Diplomatic Practice at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and leads the consultancy, Broad View Inc.  He was until 2012, Vice-President, International and Government Affairs, for Bombardier Inc.
Prior to his retirement from the Canadian Foreign Service in 2002, Haynal was Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He had also served abroad as Consul General in New York, Deputy Permanent Representative to the OECD and Representative to the International Energy Agency in Paris as well as in various diplomatic roles in Peru, Bolivia  and Great Britain.

In Ottawa, in the course of his career, headed DFAIT’s Policy Staff and been Director General of Economic Policy. Mr. Haynal had also served as First Officer of the Priorities and Planning Secretariat in the Privy Council Office and, on Executive Exchange, as Acting Vice President (Corporate Banking) at the Head Office of the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. An Alumnus Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, he is an Associate Member and past President of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers.

Rita S. Karakas

Rita S. Karakas is the President & CEO of Canada World Youth. She has considerable expertise and proven specialization in developing solid strategies for corporate planning, organizational change and strategic management planning.

Rita has a substantive track record as a determined and conscientious senior executive and has demonstrated her ability to bring about continual and recognizable transformation at, the United Way/Centraide Canada, YWCA of/du Canada, TVOntario, and Oxfam Great Britain. She was the principal and managing partner of RSK Associates Inc., an international strategic management advisory practice specializing in non-governmental organizations. She has worked extensively with global clients such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Australian Government's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Council, Oxfam Australia, Oxfam Quebec and Oxfam International.

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During her career, Rita has served on many Boards at international and national levels. In particular, she was a Board Member of Green Shield Canada, a non-profit company with annual revenues of over $1 billion, which specializes in individual health and dental benefit programs and administration. During her 20 year tenure, she chaired the corporation's strategic planning committee. At the time of retirement, she was the Chair of the Compensation and HR Committee.

Wilton Littlechild

In 1976, Chief Wilton Littlechild had the distinction of being the first Treaty First Nation person to acquire his law degree from the University of Alberta. He received his Bachelor of Physical Education Degree in 1967 and his Master’s Degree in Physical Education in 1975. In June of 2007, the University of Alberta bestowed the Doctor of Laws Degree on Chief Littlechild for his outstanding achievements.

Chief Littlechild is a respected lawyer and operates the law firm of J. Wilton Littlechild, Barrister and Solicitor, which is situated in the Ermineskin Reserve. He is a strong advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and promoter of implementation of the treaties between the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Crown, now represented by the federal government. Chief Littlechild also served as the Chairperson for the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform, mandated to review the justice system in the province of Saskatchewan.

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Chief Littlechild served as a Member of Parliament from 1988 – 1993 for the riding of Wetaskiwin-Rimby. He served on several senior committees in the House of Commons and was a parliamentary delegate to the United Nations. Chief Littlechild organized a coalition of Indigenous Nations that sought and gained consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. He was re-appointed by the E.C.O.S.O.C. President to represent North America and has completed his second and final term as the North American representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Chief Littlechild was honoured by being appointed the Honourary Chief for the Maskwacis Crees and also honoured by the Chiefs of the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations as the International Chief for Treaty No. 6 Confederacy. He was elected by the Chiefs of Treaties 6, 7, 8 (Alberta) as the Regional Chief for the three Treaty territories in October of 2006 to serve a three-year term. He is married to Helen Peacock, and is the father of three children: Teddi, Neil and Megan.

Robin McLay

Robin McLay is the Director of Research, Strategy and Learning at the MasterCard Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Robin was the first Executive Director of McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development. Robin has earned strong international reputation for his contributions in the area of evidence-based policy-making by developing creative and innovative ways of linking research to policy. He has established networks of key international research organizations through his leadership and membership in the International Forum of Research Donors, as a founding member of the Harvard University School of Public Health’s Leadership Council and his involvement with academic institutions and think tanks around the world. 

Robin also worked with the Canada School of Public Service where he served as its Director of International Partnership Projects and as Regional Director of the Pacific and Yukon Region.  He was the Director of Research at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for over five years and prior to that served as CIDA’s Director of Democratic Institutions and Conflict. Robin pursued his graduate studies at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as a Fulbright Scholar. He also holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from McGill University.




David Morley

David Morley is President and Chief Executive Officer of UNICEF Canada.

David volunteered with street children in Central America in 1978 and a planned three-month stint turned into a life-long career in international co-operation – a career that has taken him to humanitarian projects in Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Brazil, Iraq and countless others countries.

From 1980 to 1989 David was Executive Director of Pueblito, a Canadian NGO which promotes the rights of children. In 1998 he was appointed Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Canada. During his tenure Médecins Sans Frontières was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2006, he was named President and CEO of Save the Children Canada, a post he held until he took up his current duties with UNICEF Canada.

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David has also served as the founding Executive Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, and the Brazilian-based Abrinq Foundation for the Rights of Children. He is a mentor emeritus with the Trudeau Foundation and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and Dignitas International.

His writing on international issues has appeared in newspapers across Canada and around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on radio and television. Author of two Canadian best-selling books, Under the Tree (co-written with his wife Elizabeth Morley) and Healing Our World: Inside Doctors Without Borders, David has won a number of awards in the United States for his writing.

In recognition of his dedication and work in international development, David Morley has been awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation and the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, Carleton University’s Humanitarian Alumi Award.

Khalil Shariff

Khalil Shariff joined Aga Khan Foundation Canada as Chief Executive Officer in August 2005. He was previously with the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, an international management consultancy, where he advised governments, financial institutions, and health care providers on strategy, organization, and operational improvement.

Khalil served on AKFC’s National Committee for five years, and has cultivated his interest in international development and conflict resolution issues through a variety of activities including as: Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Negotiation Law Review; Policy Co-ordinator and Research Associate, Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research; Legal Intern, Chambers of the Vice-President, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania; Intern, Office of Under-Secretary-General, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He was the youngest member ever elected as a School Trustee in 1993 for the Board of School Trustees in Richmond, B.C. Khalil holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School.

Gordon Shirley

Gordon Shirley is Principal of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in Kingston, Jamaica and Board Member, International Development Research Centre. Other positions he has held include: Carleton Alexander Professor of Management and Head of the Department of Management Studies at the University; Director of the Mona School of Business in 2001, and he also served concurrently as Executive Chairman of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, and was seconded as Jamaica`s Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS). Professor Shirley has published widely in the areas of Manufacturing and Operations Management and Computer-Based Management Information Systems.

Stephen Wallace

Stephen Wallace is Secretary to the Governor General and Secretary-General of the Order of Canada. One of nine children from a naval family originating in the Atlantic provinces, Mr. Wallace grew up in Halifax and Ottawa, studied arts and business administration, and has focused much of his career on international affairs and public administration. His early work as a teacher, volunteer, diplomat and aid worker concentrated mainly on Africa and Central America.

Mr. Wallace spent many years with the Canadian International Development Agency, where he managed several large-scale reconstruction programs and served as the vice-president of the Policy Branch and the Afghanistan Task Force. His public policy assignments have included the Special Joint Committee of Parliament Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, as well as work on civil society with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. As a senior public servant, Mr. Wallace served as assistant secretary of government operations at the Treasury Board Secretariat and associate deputy minister for the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Gina Wilson

Gina Wilson began her career in her First Nation community of Kitigan-Zibi as Executive Director of Health and Social Services and as Director of the Wanaki Treatment Centre. Ms. Wilson was a Senior Manager with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), a national Aboriginal organization representing First Nation communities in Canada when she joined the Federal Government in 1996 and for five years served as Director General, Aboriginal Affairs at Correctional Service Canada. In 2003, Gina became Director General at Human Resources Skills Development Canada, before moving to the Privy Council Office (PCO) in 2005 as Director General of Engagement, where she organized a First Ministers Meeting.

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Gina Wilson was appointed in 2006 as Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) with Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada and was a partner in the implementation of a settlement agreement for approximately 80,000 survivors of Indian Residential Schools in Canada. Her office oversaw the co-ordination of events leading to the Prime Minister's historic Apology on June 11, 2008. She then was named Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Regional Operations, at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and was responsible for the implementation of operations and programming in seven regions. Gina was also a participant in the Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) in 2009. Ms. Wilson was Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management and Regional Operations at Public Safety Canada in 2011-2013, where she lead a national emergency management system and strategies to reduce and mitigate disasters in Canada and then was Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Treaties and Aboriginal Government at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada focused on reconciling Aboriginal and Crown interests through the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties. Gina was then appointed as Associate Deputy Minister at Employment and Social Development Canada in March, 2014 where she served the Minister of State for Seniors and the Minister of State for Social Development, while tackling departmental efforts to reduce the backlog at the Social Security Tribunal. In addition, Gina lead initiatives such as "Job Bank/Job Match" - a national website to match employers and job seekers and several additional corporate and workplace initiatives. Gina Wilson was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada on July 6, 2015.

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